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Lemuriformes


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(order Primates, suborder Strepsirhini (or Prosimii))

The infra-ordinal name sometimes given to the Malagasy representatives of the Strepsirhini, comprising the most primitive of living primates and their immediate ancestors, grouped into the families Adapidae (extinct forms), Cheirogaleidae (mouse lemurs), Lemuridae (lemurs), Indriidae (indris), and Daubentoniidae (aye-ayes). An alternative recent classification separates the Daubentoniidae as Chiromyiformes and the Adapidae as Adapiformes, but includes the Loridae in the Lemuriformes. The primitive, insectivore-like features that they retain include a long face, eyes that are directed to the sides of the head, and a brain smaller than that of other primates. Lemur-like animals are known to have lived in both Old and New Worlds from the lower Eocene. Some authorities now think that the ‘lemuriform’ characters are those of primitive Strepsirrhini, and that despite the fact that they all live on Madagascar the various families may not be closely related to each other.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.


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